Best Paddling Towns: Whitehorse, Yukon

North America's Best Paddling Towns

Courtesy Yukon Wild

Courtesy Yukon Wild

Paddle culture runs deep in Whitehorse (pop. 23,000). In fact, this capital city got its name from the Whitehorse Rapids on the Yukon River, which posed a major obstacle to Klondike stampeders. Today everyone in this vibrant small town seems to own a canoe, and there's a whitewater park under development on the Yukon River downtown. Whitehorse's locale offers a host of paddling options like weekend trips down the Tatshenshini's upper canyon and is the jump-off point for many renowned fly-in expeditions into the Yukon's storied frontier.

Whitehorse also is the start of the 444-mile Yukon River Quest, the longest annual canoe and kayak race in the world. Paddlers go round-the-clock to Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike, during the last week of June in a true “Race to the Midnight Sun.” -- Jim Baird


This story will appear in the June 2015 issue of Canoe & Kayak.